On Thursday, December 17, the commemoration of the Holy Great-Martyr Barbara and Venerable John of Damascus, His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV, accompanied by the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Monastery abbot Archimandrite Seraphim (Voepel) and all of the brethren greeted His Grace and the holy icon with great joy and with the ringing of a new set of Russian bells recently installed at the monastery by Constantine Stade of New Creation Bellringing.
After a short moleben served by the brotherhood clergy, Bishop Nicholas greeted the monastic brotherhood, explaining that the schedule of the holy icon’s travels has greatly changed this year because of the international travel restrictions. However, now she is bringing unexpected joy to the monastic brethren by visiting them, even when this was not planned far in advance.
The Protectress of the Russian Diaspora remained in the monastery church for Vespers and throughout the night, while members of the monastic community kept vigil before it. It remained in the temple for Matins, and in the morning the monks blessed the site for their new monastery church with the holy icon. She departed the monastery to the festive ringing of the brotherhood’s new bells.